Two seemingly diverse entities with proud long histories in South Africa signed an exciting joint venture agreement on 1 February 2015. Lafarge South Africa, one of Southern Africa’s leading building materials manufacturers, concluded a sponsorship deal with Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) for the exclusive naming rights to the famous Orlando Stadium in the heart of Soweto: to be known as the Lafarge Orlando Stadium. Branding is currently underway and the dramatic transformation of the Stadium’s appearance will be revealed at a prestigious launch function scheduled to be held in May.
“There is good brand synergy between Lafarge South Africa and the Orlando Stadium: in particular in their long-standing commitments to sustainable development in local communities. I am passionate about skills transfer and look forward to Lafarge contributing their strength in this area and their experience with education upliftment in disadvantaged communities,” said SMSA’s CEO, Jacques Grobbelaar.
First built in 1959, the Stadium has a rich and proud history associated with soccer, entertainment and the surrounding community’s involvement in the political struggle for recognition. Demolished in 2008 and rebuilt at a cost of R280 million, the new 35 000 capacity showplace featured strongly in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Commented Jaco Beukes, CEO of SAIL, the exclusive commercial agents to SMSA: “SAIL is all about connecting brands with quality platforms in the sport industry. We are proud and excited to have facilitated this association between a leading international brand such as Lafarge and an iconic South African soccer landmark. Together with SMSA, SAIL is looking forward to building a strong and fruitful partnership.”
Lafarge South Africa is the local presence of the international Lafarge Group, a world leader in building materials. The company is highly regarded in the local construction industry for continually introducing innovative cement and concrete solutions to this region. The Group’s brand baseline ‘Building better cities’ is founded on the huge global trend to urbanisation and reflects Lafarge’s commitment to help create cities that are desirable, sustainable environments for all people.
“Everywhere you look in South Africa, you see the reality of urbanisation,” says Ken MacLean, Lafarge South Africa’s Country CEO. “The rural village of today will be the city of tomorrow. Informal settlements, villages, towns and existing cities are growing rapidly and must become viable, sustainable communities. Communities that need decent housing, hospitals, schools and offices, together with the associated infrastructure to connect and service cities, such as roads, airports, water and power utilities. Lafarge South Africa aims to play a significant role in addressing this major challenge for town planners, municipal engineers and the whole construction industry.”
With its technical strength and skill at innovation, Lafarge South Africa is in a unique position to contribute products and solutions for this process of Building better communities through having a strong presence in all its construction related business lines: cement, aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, fly ash and plasterboard systems.
All of Lafarge South Africa’s operating sites have active corporate social responsibility programmes that contribute to the betterment of their neighbouring communities, and also encourage the involvement of employees through a global Group Volunteering initiative. The local company is especially focused on helping to improve the education environment for our youth. This is being implemented through the Lafarge Education and Community Trusts, which have introduced ongoing holistic programmes of education upliftment at 11 schools in Bodibe Village, North West, and 26 schools in the Mzimela community of northern KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, the Trusts collaborate with the SA National Council for the Blind to help those with visual impairments obtain qualifications and take their place in society.
With particular emphasis on helping to create sustainable communities, Lafarge South Africa recently extended its highly regarded cement and concrete technical support service, now known as ‘Ask for Thuso’, (‘Ask for Help’ in Sesotho), to emerging building contractors, entrepreneurs and DIY homeowners. This service had previously been mainly in support of the company’s larger customers in the construction and concrete products industries.
“The exciting branding project with Orlando Stadium will emphasise that we have always been, and always will be, very much a part of the South African community,” comments Lafarge South Africa’s Country Marketing Manager, Alta Theron. “Our contribution to education and skills development reflects that the people in the communities close to our sites are future Lafarge customers, employees, engineers and leaders.”